04 June 2008

A Space of One's Own

Part of my preparation for becoming a full time freelance writer this summer has been preparing a writing space for myself. Not only do I need room for all my research, projects, and books, but it helps me feel more professional to have an office space. It keeps me organized and allows me to separate my writing life from my personal life.

So I'm taking stock in the space I have to try and make it as efficient as possible. I don't have the luxury of an entire room to myself right now, so I have to do the best I can in a corner of our living room.

One determination I've made is that I will need to keep as much of my research and filing on the computer as possible. Though I wish I could, I can't have a wall of filing cabinets with scads and scads of hanging files in them, or a wall of bookcases with books and binders stacked as tightly as they can be.

Instead, I'll be relying on bookmarked websites, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and Word documents. Yes, there are some reference books I'll need to have nearby, so I'll have to have at least one bookcase, but for the most part, today's society allows me to run a freelance writing company from a very small office space. (Eventually, I know I'll have an office with a door that can close, and I already have an idea of how it will be decorated.)

Writing spaces can be as personal as handwriting. Between decorating, computer models, and inkpen colors, writers have to feel completely comfortable in their spaces in order to be productive. It's one of those quirky things writers can cling to the way actors cling to their pre-show rituals. I know a writer who has to take notes and write rough drafts in green ink before turning to the computer. It's all part of the writer's experience.

So what have you done to make your space comfortable? What does your writing space look like? Email me at nicolepalmby (at) gmail (dot) com with a photo and/or description of your writing space to be posted on the blog!

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